Thursday, June 25, 2009
I will run on the treadmill and NOT drop my iPod and watch it shoot toward the back wall. I will not fall off the treadmill. I will not pass out when I exit the sauna. I will not pass out when I enter the sauna. I will do my best just to not pass out.
I will begin to take better care of the body that I was entrusted with so that I can have a longer, healthier, happier life to spend with my wonderful and beautiful wife and my children (when I have some :) ).
I will not take being able to scratch my head, put on my shirt without rything in pain, being able to point, hold my arms out straight, put my shoes on, or pick my nose (hey it happens...don't act like you don't ever do it. Everyone has seen you at some point driving down the road picking your nose and rocking out to some sweet dance tunes) for granted.
There are a lot of other silly things I could type but I'm too sore to type them. And yes, I am complaining like a little girl so you don't have to tell me.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Some of my favorite quotes this weekend were:
-"I fell out of the bed last night."
-"TALLULAH! I knew I smelled something weird."
-"We can go outside! It's not really raining." Shortly after the worst thunderstorm I'd ever seen in my life.
-"I'm not tired." *Yawns* *Falls asleep*.
-"Smell the sweet goodness, Uncle Joel." *On making chocolate cupcakes*
-"I want salsa and syrup with my eggs. Oh, and jelly on my biscuit."
-"Don't play that one. It cusses" -Luke Lewis, 6, on the South Park Pinball Machine.
-At 730am after I had asked him not to wake us up early on my day off: *Knock Knock* "Hey, Uncle Joel, Auntie Awesome. Do you have a shoe? There's a spider outside of your door and I need to kill it." He had 4 shoes in the living room where he was hahahah!
-"Hey Mr. Booty Pants!"
-"Hey. I didn't get a toy in my meal..." *Uncle Joel runs back into McDonald's and gets toy. Returns triumphant. "Oh yeah!"
-"This is their house?!?! It's like a hotel!"
-"Legos are more important than real people!" *Luke's reaction when he was informed that he had to stop playing Legos and play with real people* Hahahahah :) That was one of my favorites.
And the winner of all quotes was said from Eli to Luke (6 year old to 6 year old) while walking down the stairs of Luke's house (which is a mansion) to the game room that leads to the pool.
*Eli, hands in pockets and acting cool he says, very calmly and like it's no big deal to him at all*: "So, you guys have a mansion, huh?" Luke replies, "Yup." Then we went swimming and had fun.
So, the spend-the-night-party was a success! even though the night he got there I was too dumb to figure out how to get my xbox360 to sync back up with the controller (so no rock band the first night and oh how those drums were taunting him), our digital converter box broke (so no TV), and I realized that we have zero bedtime stories in our house. Thank the Good Lord for the Internet and brother-in-laws that know how to get gadgets working again. He fell asleep to a Brer Rabbit story read from a Asus laptop.
Happy Birthday Eli Jones. We love you.
*A special thank you to Farris Lewis for letting us bring our nephews to her house to play. It is like Disney World for them :) Thank you for being so kind :)
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The devil sits idle beating his trumpet
While the two new nuns are eating a crumpet
And the feeble old priest opens his windows
And the smoke from the grass dances into his nose.
And I screamed,
"Get it off!"
And he leapt off toward a fly and
Friday, June 19, 2009
Now for those of you who know my cousin, Josh, you know that the most odd things happen to him all the time, so it seems. He always has a story from something that happened recently at work or church or, heck, just about anywhere! They are not always good stories but they are stories none the less. Not to say he doesn't tell them well. He tells a story very well. Not to say that his vocation is a "story-teller" but I think he could be. I think he should be, actually. He tells a good story. At any rate...
When I got to his house the other day he was sitting on the couch with his daughter, Tybee, and he was playing MOH (Medal of Honor. Don't all the cool people just abv. it?). Well being that it is a two player shooting game I obviously wanted to play and try to shoot him!
Before we began though he had a story to tell me. He said that the other day when he was dropping off some things at the Goodwill bin he found "THIS!" *at this point he whipped out his laptop and hit play on the DVD that was on the screen*. The first thing I see is a sea of people in a huge auditorium and I think to myself "He has found some crazy preacher or guy that thinks he is Jesus. Maybe Yahweh-Ben-Yahweh?" Josh is notorious for finding the craziest preachers or cult leaders so I was ready to laugh. I didn't laugh. Yet.
The first words I heard were actually not words...well I couldn't understand them anyways. The first words I did understand were something like *In mumbly voice. The kind that creeps you out in old b&w science fiction flicks* "I had a hat. And I wore that hat... *some words I don't remember* other people don't wear hat...And they looked for the pyramids and they searched for them. They tried to figure out how to use them. Lexamystics, congraguaty, triangle, knowledge!" OK, so I made that last sentence up but there were so many odd words I didn't understand. I knew this DVD was gunna be good. But I didn't laugh I just sat with my mouth a-gape like a hole that's been blown into the side of a mountain: deep, dark and silent.
Then after what seemed like a 15 minute introduction (and boy was it an introduction! It was so good that I had NO IDEA what was going on! A CGI world floating and CGI books and tape sets zooming around the world. Sound clips and excerpts from these books/tape dubbed over the video. Then an anouncer voice saying other things I didn't understan) a man walks out onto a stage in front of the huge crowd of people that I had seen before and the crowd goes wild. Jumping and screaming, hootin' and hollerin'. People of all types. The set looks like an elaborate set like the ones you see on TBN or in John Hagee's church (*disclaimer: I am not saying anything bad about either one of them. I am just saying they have elaborate sets sometimes and I know what they look like because I grew up seeing them on the TV). The camera pans across the front row: Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, SCIENTOLOGY!!! This is when I began to laugh. Mostly because Tom Cruise was jumping out of his skin, clapping and screaming and his wife (Katie Holmes) looked like she just lost her best friend. Her mouth was in a downward spiral, her eyes seemed dark and sunken, and she flopped her hands together like two dying fish fighting to revive themselves.
The man on the stage was young and good looking. He had a head full of hair, a nice suit, a strong jaw line and piercing eyes. His voice was the voice of a speaker and his confidence was through the roof! He began to speak and this is what I heard: "Avboadoifkjlw adhoviefa oadskw0i anavo ariyru nvfoaiwer aowlmfaalei fgybbnvr oainfae. Uaiioae bvai 948hai9 qg30 nvqp83q367v*/aa jhaif. Nvoaiufaerh aouva 9w84hakj!!!" the crowd goes wild! What was going on?
OK, he did not say that exactly but he might as well have. I did not understand a bloody thing the guy was saying. Was it even English?! Then they kept showing really weird, old movie clips with L. Ron Hubbard's mumbly voice overdubbed on them saying all sorts of weird/creepy things then they would cut back to the speaker on the stage and an eruption of applause would ensue.
I have been a Christian all my life and have never known anything else religion wise. I don't know what a lot of other religions really believe and I didn't know what it felt like to be a "non-Christian" until I watched that DVD. I felt totally lost to what these people were talking about. I mean it seemed great the way they were acting and they had lots of money and big movie stars and flashy things and big stages and beautiful people! Who wouldn't want to join!? Other than the fact no one who didn't already know stuff about Scientology could understand anything that was going on.
Then it dawned on me: this is probably what it feels like for a "non-Christian" to walk into most churches without having any former knowledge of Christianity. We use all the Christian terminology and such and they can't understand it. We clap and sing (well some of us...but that is another subject) and they don't know why. We smile and laugh like we are happy about everything and they don't get it because life isn't always that good, and we speak of God like he is, as my friend Paul Wilder would put it, some Pie-in-the-sky God, some mystical thing in the outer realms of the universe that has supreme control over us and our actions. It just sounds bazaar!
Now this just may be my opinion but I don't know that Jesus called us to be flashy and big and lights and stuff. There is nothing wrong with that stuff and sometimes it does help to draw some folks in to the church building but if that (and some fancy lingo) is all we have to offer we are missing something. God called us to love. Love is a thing that I think everyone can understand or feel or see. You know when you have seen or experienced love. You just know.
John 13:34-35"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
While I have always been taught these truths growing up (that life and being like Jesus was about love and not flashy things) the light finally came on 25 years after that fact. I finally understood why it was about love and not fancy words and lights and sound and looks and stages.
So, with that said I would like to say thank you to my parents, my pastors, everyone older and wiser than me that has ever taught me anything, my wife, my father and mother-in-law, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, L. Ron Howard, and the good looking speaker for making me look at being a Christian and Christianity from a whole different perspective: From the outside in.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
"What could be said?" he said, "Fred."
"What could be said? He was only passing by when I saw that piano fall from the sky."
"It went aloof off the top of the roof!" a woman shouted.
"Aloof? OFF of a roof? No my dear child that is the wrong word" Mr. McQueen did pipe up and say. "What you meant to say is that it jumped off by itself."
"No, that would mean that it had legs." Mrs. Stanchold cried.
"Pianos do have legs you old hag!" McQueen shouted fiercely, "And they move about thus and yonder like you wouldn't believe!"
"I would believe it" She said with a grin.
"No you wouldn't either...It is impossible for a woman of your stature to believe anything like that."
"You are right. I wouldn't believe it" She said as she fanned her self with $100 bills.
"What could be said?" He said.
"Poor old Fred".
Monday, June 15, 2009
The light comes in here from two different angles
They move to the beat of a clank in a wall
Up the hill and down in the ally
Up a plan to capture me jumping
Buzzers fill the street light lamps
They dip and they snort that old word of God
Priests and pastors and nuns and such
Dylan and Peter and Matthew and Paul
A fox passes by with his tail fur a-waving
Friday, June 12, 2009
I have been in this slot now for a while...Spiritually. Not to say my world has fallen apart or anything because God is faithful to keep His promises that he has promised to me (*And my wife is amazingly awesome to me*) but good Lord it seems so hard to find Him sometimes. I guess that's where actually seeking Him and talking to Him comes in handy.
Isaiah 55:6 "Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near"
I know in my heart that He is always near by but just because some one is near by doesn't mean that you let them help you. That'd be like saying you can lift a car because you have 25 strong men near by. Well, if you don't know those strong men or talk to those strong men, or ask them to help you lift the car you are probably not going to lift the dang car. You'll probably just end up squatting in an awkward posistion, straining so hard that your head starts to look like a big toe that just got busted with a hammer and throwing your back out. That is pretty much how I felt until yesterady.
After trying to find a "revalation" in the Bible and doing the "every now and then" prayer where you "seek His will" I finally found God in a rinky-dink music store at the corner of Race Track and 155. His name was Samuel Burke and He came to me as an old black man from Louisiana with a worn, white v-neck t-shirt, gold chain, stark white, backwards, brave cap, slacks, and "old man shoes". The ones from Wal-Mart. Half his teeth were gold and the other half were gone. His skin and his eyes shone like his teeth. I strained to understand the words he said. He sounded just like you imagine him.
He caught me right before I was about to leave and I thought to myself in a self rightous way "What does he want?" Well, he told straight off what he wanted. The conversation went something like this.
Sam: "Hey, you play gitar?"
Me: "Yes, sir."
Sam: "You any guht?"
Me: "I do what I can."
Guy at the register who has never heard me play that I know of (Robbie): "Oh yeah. He's good. He can make it sing." (He's always talking that jibber jabber anyways).
Sam: "How long you been playin'?"
Me: "12 years. But I should be way better than I am..."
(Sam got really excited when I told him I'd been playing 12 years and his eyes just lit up and he graced the world with a gold tooth grin.)
Sam: "Oh you guht then! You stay rit thayuh now. You gotta show me sumthin'."
I stood there while he payed for whatever it was he was paying for. At this point I wasn't paying attention still because well, I had things to do!...
He took me over to the wall of cheap guitars and snagged an low-end Epiphone SG off the wall. At that moment I was trying to figure out how to tell this guy that this guitar was a piece and also be kind about it with one of the salesmen standing right there (who I think was the guy who has the vitamin/herbal shop in McDonough. He's a really nice guy.). My words were flying every-which-a-way in my mind like they were in some cosmic space storm. They began to all be drawn to the center of the storm like there was a super strong magnet drawing them. Then they began to be pushed from my mouth.
To my suprise, and immediate grief (as I am a gear snob sometimes) Samuel didn't even care about the quality of the guitar other than was it in tune. He quickly began to ask me questions and show me all the single notes he knew all up and down the neck and play me every chord he knew: which was about 3.
Once I got over myself and saw this guy really wanted to learn I set my bag down and started to show him exactly what he was asking. Simple things really that he just didn't know. The difference between Major and Minor bar chords on the "E" and "A" strings: The simplest of simple. You would of thought that I revealed the great mysteries of the world to that man. You could see it in his worn face; he got it. He got it!
He then started to spew words like only people from Louisiana can: incomprehensably. Is that a word? Well it sounded as if he had a bag of rocks in his mouth and someone had punched him right in lip. I heard something about "fixed income", "can't afford guitar lessons", and "barter" but I could tell that his heart was genuine. These weren't excuses, they were facts. Then his words became slightly more understandable.
Sam: "Gohd save me outta hurricane Katrina. I gotta learn this gi'tar. I awnah play in da chuch. Gotta give glory t'Gohd and I awnah play in da chuch. Y'see Gohd brought meh up and he an' He brough' meh out an' He saved me. Gotta give Him glory. I was tryin' t' make it on mah own and fin'ly learnd that I had to submit to Gohd and trus' in Him. Y'see Gohd will bring y' up an' set y' on a path but so many of us try t' go our own way. We got the will o' Gohd goin' right long b'side us and we don't even see it till we submit."
Then it got really clear and he looked straight at me and his voice changed.
"You gotta submit to God so he can put you in His will."
Right then everything stopped and I knew in my heart that God had spoken. The room began to spin a little bit and I almost lost it in the middle of this rinky-dink music shop in front of a man I'd never met before. I didn't lose it. Samuel's Louisana draw brought me back in.
Sam: "Heh heh you gwanna haf' mah fangers hurt'n'! That'sa goot thang though. Ima haftuh practice hard. I awnah play at da chuch. Gotta give glory t'Gohd. Heeh Heeh! Mah fangers gwannah be huhtin'!"
I shouldn't say that I found God yesterday, really. It was more like He grabbed my car, took it to the music shop, threw me in the door and made me stay until I heard what He had to say.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
-Red Square : A game where you are a red square and you have to dodge 4 odd sized blue blocks. The more you dodge them the angrier they get and they go faster. Quite fun, really.
-Battleship: It's battleship...
-Lots of guitar pedal schematics and layouts: This took me forever to find. It was like finding a priceless jewel. It would be like if you went everyday to Dahlonega, Ga. and panned for gold and came back with next to nothing for months and months and then one day you found a 20lb piece of gold mixed with rubys, emeralds and diamonds. Yup. That good.
-The Top 10 funniest and coolest PC pranks: Why would this even be in my fav? Really...If I did any of these at work on the company PC's I would probably get fired. The only other PC that I am ever around is my wife's...But maybe you are someone who wouldn't get fired for pulling some of them...let me know how that goes.
-List of keyboard shortcuts: Again, useful, but...why is it in my favorites? It is not, by any means, one of my favorite sites to go to...
Friend: "Hey man, what's going on?"
Me: "Nothing much. Just memorizing an exhaustive list of keyboard shortcuts for the PC."
Friend: *Grabs plastic bag and begins to crumple it near the phone* "What's that? Huh? I think we are breaking up..."
Me: "Hello?? Are you there?" *looks at phone and realizes call was disconnected* "Guess they were going through a bad reception spot."
*Gets back to memorizing PC keyboard shortcuts. Alone.*
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
One. Two. Three
Lemurs hang ring-tailed from a tree
The whites of their eyes
Turning blood shot red
As the hunter turns and scratches his head.
Ladies twist and float by in skirts
And talk about their husbands
And their husband's net worth.
Their teeth clatter and clutter the forest floors
With little fungus that's full of spores
And they spread and grow like a meat eating machine
That never visits the dentist to have it's teeth cleaned.
It's a mean eyed monster
A green eyed monster
Dirty hands needs it teeth cleaned eyed monster.
Mr. McCormick swooshes his swash buckle down
And in the hustle and bustle he turns to the Crown
To make his amends but is promptly cut off
By a Mercedes-Benz.
Orange smoke rises from it's tailpipes
A cat screams from the gutter
You wake up in a sea of pillows and cream
With your two bare feet sore from walking the street
And your two sore hands hurting from high demands
And your two black eyes you acquired last night
It wasn't a dream
Again that cat screams.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
This is the only way to explain all the impromptu dance routines accompanied by hums and eventually bursts into full choruses! Well, parts of choruses anyways. I was born before her so this explains the reason why I did not receive the upgrade to “Brain Radio”: apparently God did not start installing it until 1985. Right now the most played song on the “Brain Radio” is Lady GaGa’s “Just Dance”.
Most days when I get home from work I will take a sit down on the couch with my dogs (Phyllis and Talulah) and watch the news. All-of-the sudden out of the other room, “Shut my playboy mouth! Oh Oh Oh Oh. Gunna be ok! Oh Oh Oh Oh. Shut my playboy mouth!” Then the dance routine! Arms and legs going, hips-a-shakin’, hand jivin’, foot shufflin’! Then there is “dance mouth”. The way you hold your mouth while you dance is very important and my wife has got it down: mouth slightly open, tongue pushed into one of the bottom corners of the mouth. The tongue then slowly makes it’s way out into the open and is gently captured by the teeth before it gets too far out there. It is a thing that moves you when you see it. I have no choice but to get up and join in.
It moves through my legs first and they start to shake then it goes straight to my shoulders and they start flailing about much like Iggy Pop’s. Soon I am in full fledged dance mode. The music begins to get louder as we both start singing “Just dance! Gunna be OK! Shut my playboy mouth!” Lights begin to flicker and flash just like a dance club scene from one of those many dance battle movies like “Step up 2: The Streets”
This type of activity usually happens at least a few times a week in our kitchen (which after 2 years we realized that from outside you can see EVERYTHING that goes on in the kitchen). And whether I’m in a bad mood or not this activity will make me forget about whatever is going on and remind me of how good life is and how good dancing and singing is. Sometimes I need to “Shut my playboy mouth” and just dance.
Friday, June 5, 2009
"Any musician who learns everything about their instrument will only know who they are if they spend the time to know God."